Congress Learns That Exponent, Toyota's Independent Expert, is Really a Hired Gun of its Defense Lawyers

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Toyota's hearings before Congress regarding the sudden acceleration problem got a jolt when James Lentz, Toyota’s U.S. sales chief, testified that the “independent” investigation really wasn’t so independent after all.

While Toyota wasn’t directly involved with Exponent, the company responsible for the independent investigation into the acceleration problems, Toyota's defense counsel was. It seems that the engineering investigators were reporting to Toyota’s lawyers. Now, however, Exponent is supposed to be reporting its findings to Steve St. Angelo, Toyota’s top quality officer for North America.

According to USA Today, Exponent was hired in December 2009, and has already profited $3,300,000.00 on its Toyota work.

Finally, Congress and the American public are getting a chance to see how the powerful insurance defense teams operate.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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